On 23 August, work on stripping the former CREA building was completed, with preparations for the planned rebuilding phase now underway. Stripped of its later additions, the former nineteenth-century hospital revealed a number of unusual original details.
The stripping activities removed inner walls, floor coverings, ceilings that had been installed at a later date and the old sanitary facilities, among other things, and brought to light various wonderful details dating back to the original 1897 building, for example, skylights. Set in the roof, these windows were used to provide a source of fresh air for patients lying on the upper floor, and could be opened and closed by pulling on a rope. Now still littered with nails, a glimpse of the original granite floors can already be seen in the bathrooms, while various other rooms feature the original chimneys lining the walls.
With the stripping work done, a thorough analysis is underway to assess the state of this historic monument - with some encouraging initial impressions. With renovations not set to start until early next year, a few spaces in the former hospital are currently being used as artists' studios, thus ensuring the building remains in use.